Propane Water Heaters Buying And Safety Tips

Propane Water Heaters Buying and Safety Tips

Anthony Barnes

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Propane water heaters are a great way to keep warm, however, with the world developing new technology for energy and keeping warm, it can be hard to pick out a new model.

Propane Water Heaters Buying And Safety Tips

There’s nothing more frustrating than having a general idea of what you want but having no idea where to start.

It’s always nice to have a helping hand so you can find out where to start and things you need to look out for when buying a new device or appliance like a propane water heater.

Follow our guide to find out all of the ins and outs when it comes to investing in a new propane water heater.

At the end of the day, sometimes the best way to find a new water heater is to understand them first.

What Is A Propane Water Heater? What Does It Do?

Very effective and reliable pieces of kit, propane-fueled water heaters work in a similar way to natural gas water heating systems and provide the owner with heat and warmth.

Natural gas isn’t always a good option and can often be out of people’s reach, so these appliances are a great alternative.

Often seen throughout urban and suburban locations around the world, propane gas is a brilliant option for people looking for something different from natural gas.

Also known as liquid petroleum, propane gas is often found on-site in a storage tank, preventing the need for companies to deliver the gas via truck.

Safety Tips And Buyers’ Guide

Care Needed When Handling

One of the most important things when involving a source of gas in your home or at your workplace is that you need to stay safe.

Propane gas has a high density, meaning you should handle it with care when possible.

We recommend always having gas detectors present to highlight the presence of gas if there is any.

Conversion Kits Included

A big similarity between these types of water heaters and propane-fuelled ones is that they both come with a conversion kit included.

This works by modifying the gas orifice and the unit’s gas pressure regulator, keeping things working efficiently and safely.

Two Safety Notes To Consider

Because of specific gravity and the higher BTU, propane water heaters’ operating gas pressure is a lot higher than for natural gas heaters, so you’re likely to spot a difference.

This is always useful to keep in mind.

As well as this, propane hot water heaters need more air for liquid petroleum combustion.

The gas burner is usually the same, but this is definitely something that you’ll have to be aware of and make sure you remember.

Know Which Type Of Heater You Need

Know Which Type Of Heater You Need

Of course, this guide is dedicated to finding more about propane water heaters, but there are different types that can be implemented by their owners.

There are two main forms that you’re likely to see or be interested in purchasing, so we’ll have a look at them here.

Tankless Water Heaters

Many people will opt to go for these devices because they fit the modern hunger to fit everything into smaller areas and ensure that everything is compact.

On top of this, they use less fuel than tank-type versions of water heaters, making them a lot more efficient.

Because they use a lot less fuel, they are a lot better for the environment and give off a much smaller amount of greenhouse gases, decreasing emissions in the process.

Natural gas combustion is a very similar process to how these heaters prepare hot water ready for use.

It’s always of the highest importance that you check your local laws before installing these tanks in a certain location.

Lots of states and counties will prohibit the installation of these tanks in basements, so make sure you don’t get caught out. Act as the law tells you to.

Tank-Type Water Heaters

The standard water heater that you’re bound to picture when thinking about propane variations of these appliances.

These are designed with ranging capacities, coming in anywhere between 40 gallons and 100 gallons for each appliance.

They start around these capacities because they need to be big enough to store enough gas, otherwise, you’d find yourself having to get it refilled too often.

These are very similar to tanks with natural gas in the way they work.

It’s important to note that a 50-gallon liquid petroleum water heater can give out as much hot water as 66-88-gallon electric units in 2.5 baths home. 

When it comes to venting, it’s always worth noting that the manual will state that they have special requirements for venting, with this needing to be kept in mind.

There are typically two manuals when purchasing these water heaters, with one being about installation and the other being about these special venting requirements.

We always recommend that you hire a specialist to install your water heater to avoid stress and potential injuries.

Because gas is involved, you need to be extra careful. If there’s any doubt about your ability to install one of these, you should seek some extra help.

Which One Costs More?

Of course, when buying a water heater, the prices will vary depending on the brand, the size, and where you’re buying from.

However, these units can cost up to twice as much as standard models.

That being said, the real difference in the money is down to the running costs, which you’re bound to find a difference fairly quickly.


There we have it. Hopefully, you’ll be able to have a few different ideas up your sleeve when finding a new model of propane water heater.

At the end of the day, you need to know what you want before you think about buying a water heater.

Understanding where you’re going to install your unit is a big part of the journey and keeping yourself safe is imperative.

Once you know what type of unit you want and where you want to install it, you can think about contacting a professional to help with the installation.

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By Anthony Barnes

Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age